Kira Fujikawa has always been a girl on the fringe. Bullied by her peers and ignored by her parents, the only place Kira’s ever felt at home is at her grandfather’s Shinto shrine, where she trains to be a priestess.
But Kira’s life is shattered on the night her family’s shrine is attacked by a vicious band of yokai demons. With the help of Shiro—the shrine’s gorgeous half-fox, half-boy kitsune—Kira discovers that her shrine harbors an ancient artifact of great power . . . one the yokai and their demon lord, Shuten-doji, will use to bring down an everlasting darkness upon the world.
Unable to face the Shuten-doji and his minions on her own, Kira enlists the aid of seven ruthless shinigami—or death gods—to help stop the brutal destruction of humankind. But some of the death gods aren’t everything they initially seemed, nor as loyal to Kira’s cause as they first appeared.
With war drawing nearer by the day, Kira realizes that if this unlikely band of heroes is going to survive, they’re going to have to learn to work together, confront their demons, and rise as one to face an army of unimaginable evil.
I love how this book has this anime-ish touch. It feels like I’m watching an anime, but instead of seeing the characters move on the screen, I can read their moves and thoughts instead. Ain’t that fun? It is somehow new to me, and I definitely enjoyed reading this book.
At the start, the story already brought me action – how most anime that I had watched started. I also loved the unfamiliar myth characters, and I’ll repeat it, the anime vibe atmosphere it is giving off since the start. The scenes are never dull for me because I learned a lot about the story in each chapter, and also, I love learning something about our characters.
I also liked the characters that were introduced in the story. Though I only didn’t like the romance since I already find it predictable. But, it is still sweet and nice that it didn’t really affect my enjoyment of reading the book.
The plot and world-building are wonderful, but since I already watched A LOT of anime and have read A LOT of manga, I find the story predictable. But, as I said, I still enjoyed reading it.
Overall, I recommend this book with an enjoyable ride in Japanese culture and mythology to the readers who would like to experience it. If you are also interested in why I said it has an anime vibe in it, then you better read this too.
Disclaimer: I received an advance reading copy via The Fantastic Flying Book Club.
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
A veteran bookseller and librarian, Courtney Alameda now spends her days writing thriller and horror novels for young people. Her debut novel, SHUTTER, was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award and hailed as a “standout in the genre” by School Library Journal. Her forthcoming novel, PITCH DARK (Spring 2017), is a genre-blending science fiction/horror novel in the vein of Ridley Scott’s 1979 film ALIEN.
Courtney holds a B.A. in English literature with an emphasis in creative writing. She is represented by the talented John M. Cusick of Folio Literary. A Northern California native, she now resides in Utah with her husband, a legion of books, and a tiny five-pound cat with a giant personality.
VALYNNE E. MAETANI
Valynne E. Maetani (pronounced Vuh-linMah-eh-tah-nee) grew up in Utah and obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. In a former life, she was a project manager and developed educational software for children with learning disabilities. Currently, she is a full-time writer. She is a member of the We Need Diverse Books team and is dedicated to promoting diversity in children’s literature because every child should grow up believing his or her story deserves to be told. Her debut novel, Ink and Ashes, is the winner of the New Visions Award 2013, a Junior Library Guild 2015 selection, and Best Fiction Book in Salt Lake City Weekly’s Best of Utah Arts Award for 2015. She lives in Salt Lake City.
Grand Prize: Win a signed copy of SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS, a signed copy of Courtney Alameda’s SHUTTER, and a signed copy of ValynneMaetani’s INK AND ASHES; anime portraits of Kira and Shiro; a stuffed fox omamori charm from the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine in Japan; an origami fox hand-folded by ValynneMaetani; a yokai mini sticker sheet; and an assortment of Japanese Kit Kats (not pictured) [INT]
Second Prize: Win (1) of (2) A signed copy of SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS with anime portraits of Kira and Shiro (INT)
Starts: 28th January 2020
Ends: 11th February 2020
Follow the tour HERE!!!